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A. R. Ammons

I can’t tell you where a poem comes from, what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other. The reason I can’t tell you is that the purpose of a poem is to go past telling, to be recognized by burning. — A. R. Ammons, “A Poem is a Walk,” Temple Poetry. Wednesday, June 10, 2009. Originally published in Epoch 18 (Fall 1968): 114-19. Delivered to the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh in April 1967.

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